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Worried...Prerequisite grades

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Hi I'm new here but I've long been considering a career as a physician assistant. Several family members are PA's and they love it.


I'm just a little nervous about the grade requirements for some programs...


I've looked around and most programs require that their prereqs have a grade of C/C- or better, which is generous. However, some programs just say that they require "B" in their prereqs. Now, my question is that I have a B- in one of my classes (chemistry), which is usually required and I don't know if that still qualifies as a "B". For the prerequisites, the programs do not specify a certain number such as 3.00 - they just say B. Yet in their requirement for cumulative/science gpa, they clearly say at least a 3.00 is required. I'm just not sure if the B- is good enough to count... but maybe it is since they didn't specify 3.0? And some universities/colleges do not use minus/plus...grades just translate to pure A or B instead of B+/B-.


If that was confusing, for example:


Program requirements

-----Cumulative GPA: 3.00

-----Science GPA as calculated by CASPA: 3.00

-----Two semesters of biology: B or better

-----Two semesters of chemistry: B or better



I really care about becoming a PA so if I absolutely have to re-take it I can... but I'd much rather take other courses such as public health, upper level biology, etc. instead because they interest me more. I'm in my last year at college.


I reckon the best thing to do is ask the programs directly if that's okay, which is what I have done for a few of them and I'm still waiting for a reply...which probably won't come until later this week. I was just wondering if anyone had experience with this problem and knew, in general, if a B- is fine in their experience, in the meantime. I'm panicking a little bit...


Other than that glitch, my science GPA looks fairly strong. I'm just worried.


Thank you!

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PA programs are so competitive that you're unlikely to get into one unless your grades substantially exceed the minimums in all respects. A B- is not considered a "B or higher" in any school or program (and not just PA programs) I'm familiar with.


From the tone of your posting, it sounds like you may be underestimating the competitiveness of PA programs. Welcome to the site--stick around and read a lot, and you'll get very good, eye-opening guidance.

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I was just curious, really. Other than that glitch, my science gpa and cumulative gpa are competitive, compared to the stats that I've checked. I've taken many upper level biology/science classes and done very well in them. For most of the specific requirements for many of the programs, my grades far exceed the requirement grades. This was more of an exception than the rule... and in organic chemistry, nonetheless. Some of the best PA programs I've looked at require at least a C/C- in their prerequisites, so I thought it was interesting that this particular PA program requires a B for everything. For example, some programs that require at least a C in prereqs say that a C-minus does not count, explicitly. I saw no designation for that on this program.


I was just looking for feedback really :). If I need to re-take it, then I need to re-take it. Or just apply to other programs.

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Was in the same situation where a B- in Gen Chem and Statistics as a freshman prevented me from applying to a few schools (ex Wayne State) that required a B or better even though I had all A's for the last 2 years of undergrad including upper-level Chem and Calc. I would call your schools and ask to be sure. I'd think that if they say "2 semesters of Chem" and you have <B in Gen Chem but >B in Orgo I and II that would be okay.

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If it was me and my stats were really as good as you're claiming yours are, I would weigh my desire to apply to this one school against my willingness to retake that single class. Unless they're willing to make a special exception for you, a B- will not count as a B since it's not actually a B. You obviously didn't go to one of those schools where there are no +/- grades, so... no point wondering what if. What you do will depend on how badly you want to attend this school. A single B- will not keep you out of many, many, many other excellent programs.

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